21st century skills_education_and_competitiveness_guide

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  • 1. 21st Century Skills,Education & CompetitivenessA R esou rce a n d Pol i c y G u i d e

2. About This GuideAmericans are deeply concerned about theirpresent and future prospects in a time ofeconomic uncertainty. Policymakers have a make-or-break openingand an obligationto chart anew path for public education that will secure oureconomic competitiveness.This guide summarizes the challenges andopportunities that, if left unaddressed, will curtailour competitiveness and diminish our standingin the world. The warning signals are blinking red.We can thrive in this century only with informedleadership and concerted action that preparesAmericans to compete.We urge policymakers and leaders in thebusiness, education and workforce developmentcommunities to use this guide as a resource forshaping policies that are attuned to competitiveneeds. Additional resources are available on ourWeb site, www.21stcenturyskills.org.About the Partnership for21st Century SkillsThe Partnership for 21st Century Skills has emergedas the leading advocacy organization focused oninfusing 21st century skills into education. Theorganization brings together the business community,education leaders and policymakers to define apowerful vision for 21st century education to ensureevery childs success as citizens and workers in the21st century. The Partnership encourages schools,districts and states to advocate for the infusion of21st century skills into education and provides toolsand resources to help facilitate and drive change.21st Century Skills, 1Education & CompetivenessWhy We Need to Act Now 2What We Need to Do Now 10A Shared Vision of a 1221st Century EducationSystemPolicy Recommendations 14Conclusion 16References 17 2008 Partnership for 21st Century Skills 3. 21st Century Skills,Education & Competitivenesswww. 2 1 s t c e n t u ry s k i l l s .or gCreating an aligned, 21stcentury public educationsystem that preparesstudents, workers andcitizens to triumph inthe global skills race isthe central economiccompetitiveness issuefor the next decade.In an economy driven by innovation and knowledge in marketplacesengaged in intense competition and constant renewal in a worldof tremendous opportunities and risks in a society facing complexbusiness, political, scientific, technological, health and environmentalchallenges and in diverse workplaces and communities that hinge oncollaborative relationships and social networking the ingenuity, agilityand skills of the American people are crucial to U.S. competitiveness.Our ability to compete as a nationand for states, regions andcommunities to attract growth industries and create jobsdemands afresh approach to public education. We need to recognize that a 21stcentury education is the bedrock of competitivenessthe engine, notsimply an input, of the economy.And we need to act accordingly: Every aspect of our educationsystempreK12, postsecondary and adult education, after-school andyouth development, workforce development and training, and teacherpreparation programsmust be aligned to prepare citizens with the 21stcentury skills they need to compete. 4. Why We Need to Act Nowwww. 2 1 s t c e n t u ry s k i l l s .or g30-Year Growth inInformation Servicesin the U.S. Economy1967199736%56%Change in Share of U.S. GrossDomestic Product fromInformation ServicesSource: Apte, Karmarkar & Nath, 2008Reason 1: Fundamental Changes in theEconomy, Jobs and BusinessesOver the last several decades, the industrialeconomy based on manufacturing hasshifted to a service economy driven byinformation, knowledge and innovation.Research at the UCLA Anderson School of Management(Karmarkar & Apte, 2007; Apte, Karmarkar & Nath, 2008)documents the rise of the service economy: In 1967, the production of material goods (such asautomobiles, chemicals and industrial equipment) anddelivery of material services (such as transportation,construction and retailing) accounted for nearly 54percent of the countrys economic output. By 1997, the production of information products(such as computers, books, televisions and software)and the provision of information services (such astelecommunications, financial and broadcast services, andeducation) accounted for 63 percent of the countrysoutput. Information services alone grew from 36 percent to 56percent of the economy during that 30-year period.Today, the United States is more than 15 years into theinformation age. It was in 1991 that U.S. spending oninformation technology ($112 billion) first surpassed spendingon production technology ($107 billion) (Stewart, 1997).All developed countriesour competitorshave made thisshift to information products and services. And the serviceeconomy continues to expand. 5. 10-Year Job Trends Underscore Shift to Service Sector3 millionmanufacturingjobs lostJobs also have shifted from manufacturing to services, particularly in higher-paidwww. 2 1 s t c e n t u ry s k i l l s .or ginformation services: Between 1995 and 2005, the United States lost 3 million manufacturing jobs, according to theU.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. In that same 10-year period, 17 million service-sector jobs werecreated. In 1999, the largest sector of the labor force, 45 percent, was still in material services, but theproportion of the workforce in information services was not far behind, at 41 percentandthis sector has been growing at a much faster rate (Karmarkar & Apte, 2007; Apte, Karmarkar &Nath, 2008). In terms of wages, information services accounted for the largest portion of the nationswage bill, 48 percent, compared to 38 percent for other workers. Generally, informationworkers earn more than those in material products and services. There is more than a $10,000difference between information and material service providers, while the wage gap betweenworkers in the information products sector and those in the material goods sector is morethan $20,000.Many of the fastest-growing jobs in the service sector are high-end occupations, including doctors,lawyers, engineers, and sales and marketing professionals. More than three-quarters of all jobs inthe United States are in the service economy, yet many policymakers view them as low-skill, low-wageoptions (Council on Competitiveness, 2008).Change in JobCreationBetween 1995and 2005, the U.S.economy lost 3million manufacturingjobs and created17 millionservice-sector jobs.Source: U.S. Bureauof Labor Statistics20151050-517 million service-sector jobs createdmillions of jobs19952005 6. On U.S.Com p etiti v enessService-sector Employment Dominates U.S. EconomyEconomic success is increasingly based on theeffective utilization of intangible assets, such asknowledge, skills, and innovative potential as the keyresource for competitive advantage.Economic and Social Research Council, 2005Because other nations have, and probably willcontinue to have, the competitive advantage of a lowwage structure, the United States must competeby optimizing its knowledge-based resources,particularly in science and technology, and bysustaining the most fertile environment for newand revitalized industries and the well-paying jobsthey bring.Rising Above the Gathering Storm, Committee on Prosperingin the Global Economy of the 21st Century: An Agenda forAmerican Science and Technology. National Academy ofSciences, National Academy of Engineering, Institute ofMedicine, 2007www. 2 1 s t c e n t u ry s k i l l s .or gPercentage ofU.S. Jobs in theService Sector(Information and non-informationservices)Source: Apte, Karmarkar &Nath, 2008Americas lead over its economicrivals has been entirely forfeited,with many nations surging aheadin school attainment. The skillsslowdown is the biggest issuefacing the country. [t]his slow-movingproblem, more than anyother, will shape the destiny ofthe nation.David Brooks, New York Timescolumnist, 200886% 7. In response to economic changes, industries and firms have made significant organizationaland behavioral shifts, such as flatter management structures, decentralized decision making,information sharing and the use of task teams, cross-organizational networking, just-in-timeinventory and flexible work arrangements, according to several studies that havedocumented these changes. These shifts often are associated with increased productivityand innovation: A U.S. Census Bureau study (Black & Lynch, 2003) found significant firm-levelproductivity increases that were associated with changes in business practices, includingreengineering, regular employee meetings, self-managed teams, upskilling of workers andcomputer use by front-line workers. A U.S. Department of Labor study (Zoghi, Mohr & Meyer, 2007) found a strongpositive relationship between both information sharing and decentralized decision makingand a companys innovativeness. Information and communications technologies (ICT) often have supported changesin organizational structures and practices for communication, information sharing, analysisand simulation of business processes. Early studies of ICT use showed little productivitygain from technology investments. However, later studies found significant productivitygains associated with specific ways that technology is used. For example, reviews offirm-level studies (Pilat, 2004; Gera & Gu, 2004) found that the greatest benefits arerealized when ICT investments are accompanied by other organizational changes thatICT use makes possible, such as new strategies, business processes and practices, andorganizational structures.www. 2 1 s t c e n t u ry s k i l l s .or gCompanies also havechanged how theyare organized and theway they do business.Workers have moreresponsibility andcontribute more toproductivity andinnovation.In the New Economy, knowledge, rather than natural resources, is the raw materialof business.Center for Regional Studies, 2002Clusters [geographic agglomerations of companies, suppliers, service providers andassociated institutions of a